The Death Penalty Will not Hinder a Convict from Being Saved
There are times when God wants to make an exception with a criminal. When that is the case, God always finds the way to do it without us modifying the behavioral standard given by God's laws. Let's study the following case.
There was not a city that made peace with the
All of the inhabitants of the
region conquered by Joshua were to be exterminated.
However, for some reason the Hivites living in
The order for general extermination was very rigorous, even so, Hebrews disobeyed it causing a negative outcome as seen in Judges 2:1-3. God did much, but much emphasis on the extermination of those conquered people, and this may be why He did not wanted to weaken the force of this order, making exceptions. In its place, and to reach the same end (and this is my opinion) He permitted the Hivites to use the necessary cleverness to free themselves from death, without the Hebrews being able to find a way to debilitate the order of total extermination. Being so, the Hebrews did not have to modify the standard of conduct set by God, and the Hivites were able to save themselves as God wanted.
Something similar happens with those condemned to death. The human being must obey God's commandments when it comes to the punishment of homicide. If there is an exception to be made, the one who makes it is God, not us.
There are Christians who despite the fact that God's word commands the execution of murderers, they attempt to amend what God has already established, by imprisoning them instead. They reason (if that can be called reasoning) that maybe that murderer will repent and seeks God in the future, which is why, according to them, it is better to let him live. God, who knows better than us what is to be done, commanded us to execute murderers, and that is what should be done. If a murderer has the possibility to repent and be saved in the future, God will provide the circumstances to protect him. God could give him enough intelligence so that his crime is not discovered, or to escape the actions of justice if he is discovered. But God will make that exception, he is the one who knows and has the right to do it; not I, who neither has the knowledge nor the right to modify what God has commanded.
If a murderer falls into the hands of the law it is because God has permitted or caused it to happen; and if he permits it, it is because he wants what he himself commands to be done: to execute him. If God wanted him to be put in prison instead of executing him, He would not modify his commandment, but would cause the murderer's theft to be discovered and not the murder. The ones who go out to modify God's commandments to "help" God or their neighbor are very foolish. If Gods commandments were followed and not those of the international mafias, those of the criminal attorneys, those of psychologists and mistaking Christians, there would not be so much crime in countries.
With all this said I don't intend to make you think that all murderers who are not discovered or condemned to death are to be saved. There are many reasons that could cause such an injustice. The reasons could be merely human. God gives man, the society and authorities, certain autonomic behavior. He tells them what they should do, but does not force them to do it. The opportunity will come for each to be held accountable and also for those responsible for His will not being done.
Aside from this, we see in verse 20, that those that God intended to be exterminated, instead of giving them intelligence, like the Hivites, he hardened them like Pharaoh. To understand the dynamic and the justice of the hardening of Pharaoh without altering his free will, see biblical note # 4 in this section.